As somebody who has been collecting bullet journaling inspiration for years, I’ve found that most “bujo” enthusiasts and their pretty spreads fall into five major categories or personalities, each with their very own strengths and pitfalls. Though there’s definitely no wrong way to bullet journal, finding out which personality you lean toward can help you leverage your bullet journal to its greatest potential and minimize its weaknesses.
So far, I’ve discussed my own bullet journaling personality, The Minimalist; a personality I admire very much, The Scrapbooker; and today, I’d like to talk about The Artist—the personality I’d be, if clean lines and white space weren’t even more my jam.
The Artist turns planning into a work of art. Every page of this person’s bullet journal is a little piece of art in and of itself, from decorative borders and beautifully hand lettered daily headings to entire spreads. Think of The Artist as somebody who uses their bullet journal as a sketchbook—to plan and to push themselves as an artist, all in one place.
Decorative daily, weekly, and monthly titles
Sketches in the corners and margins
Lists are sometimes pictures
Decorative elements on nearly every page
Defies templates :)
Hand-sketched icons help with visual organization
Each finished page can make you feel accomplished—you’ve planned and organized your life, and it looks beautiful too!
Bullet journaling this way can make sure that you’re creating art every single day.
This is a great way to stretch yourself as an artist! Each new spread can be a new challenge, your own creative ‘prompt.’ You can challenge yourself to create a whole new style every week. Or you can create themed months. For instance, if you want to get better at drawing tropical plants, you can challenge yourself to create one every day for the month of March. Or as a calligrapher or hand letterer, you can create a new style of calligraphy every month and practice it every day (I have a blog post about how to get started doing this, too!). This way, at the end of the year you have twelve of your very own new styles to work with, all of which you are very skilled at!
Setup time can be extensive, which may prevent The Artist from planning at all on busy weeks.
Constantly switching things up, even if they work; this may lead Artists away from bullet journal spreads that lend themselves to the most productivity
Gets distracted by art over planning and productivity
Feels pressured to make each page beautiful, so when creativity is lacking, Artists may feel too daunted to start drawing or planning. This goes hand-in-hand with “fear of the blank page,” and feeling paralyzed by the prospect of making a mistake that will ruin a spread.
Things to Try & Inspiration
Create room for daily creation, and don’t get in a rut—try new things! At the beginning of the year (or every 6 months), plan new ways to utilize your bullet journal to its greatest potential for both planning and stretching yourself as an artist!
I just love the subdued but beautiful pastel colors of Zebra Mildliners.
Integrate your intentional practice into your task list. This way, you make sure it gets done, and you get to feel accomplished twice—by looking at what you created, and by checking it off your list!
Participate in doodle challenges.
Arm yourself with pretty labels and stickers (or even basic acrylic paints) that will cover up mistakes, even full-page labels if a mistake takes a particularly bad turn. That way, you can push forward with abandon, knowing that no mistake is unfixable!
Avoid burnout! Stick with it, even if it means getting into a routine and only trying something new every once in awhile. Give yourself freedom to have some plainer spreads, so that you can work on those “masterpiece” spreads over several days.
I loved this giant cache of washi tape for cheap on Amazon! Be careful, the washi tape addiction is real.
Check out my Pinterest board dedicated to The Artist bullet journal personality
One artist created a spread with a giant circle and added to it every day of the week, with the intention of having a completed drawing by the end of the week (unfortunately, I can’t find the source of this image for attribution, so I won’t display it). Some slowly complete a zentangle or a whole-page design. Some add boxes into their layouts for future pictures.
Try learning hand lettering! A great (and free) place to start is my printable eBook and workbook, Simple Script.
Share Your Thoughts
Are you an Artist? Got any tips to add? Tell me below in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.